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The Normal Way Godless Men Treat Women

"He hit me so hard I actually saw stars." - Lisa De Pasquale describes her atheist boyfriend Chris's idea of foreplay in the astonishing memoir Finding Mr. Righteous... Part 2 of an ongoing series.

by
Dave Swindle

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April 17, 2014 - 5:15 pm
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Click here for Part 1

Lisa De Pasquale's memoir is extraordinary... Time to take a break to give #maura #siberianhusky her morning run but I'm eager to finish ASAP.

From Sunday at PJ Lifestyle, Susan L.M. Goldberg responded to my opening in this series with “Religion, Politics & Screaming at the Internet” and concluded thoughtfully:

Why aren’t these women loving these men the way they ought to be loving themselves, with respect and honor?

Perhaps that question is the answer to the many you pose about righteousness in America’s religious and political spheres. When we succumb to idols of any kind we become altruistic in our worship, disrespecting ourselves as much as those with whom we interact. Walter and I do agree on the concept that faith is, first and foremost, a relationship with God that is as mutually satisfying as a marriage. When we lose that context to religious, political, or pop culture opinion, we are forced to become ascetics, because no matter how hard you believe, nor how ardently you defend, you will never win the full favor, attention, or love of the idol you worship. It is a thing, an idea, a person so far removed from you that you are forced to be nothing more than its conquered slave. That is the way Ryan the Preacher treated Lisa, and she responded the way any slave would: “…all I wanted was to be wanted.”

An excerpt from page 23:

"He hit me so hard I actually saw stars." - Lisa De Pasquale, in an excerpt from page 23 of Finding Mr. Righteous on her alcoholic, atheist boyfriend Chris...

Dear Lisa and Susan,

I think among the many accomplishments of Finding Mr. Righteous is its portrayal of Chris the Atheist. The passage from page 23 above highlights a number of intertwined phenomena – a sadomasochistic sexual nature, atheist theology, an inability to control emotions, substance abuse, idolizing women’s bodies, and so often the critical piece at root, the lack of a father figure and the corresponding failure to grow up in a nuclear family. In another passage from the book Chris’s destructive tendencies are made more explicit as he discusses the self-inflicted scars on his arms.

Reading these passages reminded me of my own secular dating time during my undergraduate years – a period I don’t like to dredge out from the memory banks all that often because it’s just still too shameful and embarrassing. The experience from this passage isn’t that uncommon and it shouldn’t necessarily be understood as exclusively a men’s issue. (I certainly don’t believe that men are just innately violent.) It goes the other way too. I dated a number of secular, progressive, and feminist women in college who in some ways resembled Chris. Gender isn’t the issue — beliefs, ideology, and the experiences underlying them are what make people hurt one another.

Some of the women I dated would shift the foreplay into one disturbing realm or another, either incorporating pain and degradation into how they treated me or requesting I act that way toward them. Never was it just “for fun” or “to be kinky” or to “spice things up”– always behind these outward expressions some inner emotional wounds ached, unhealed by a spiritual practice.

Or rather, as it turns out, the sex and the pain was their substitute for a religion. Throughout the story of Chris we see one attempt after another to find something to distract from the unresolved demons inside him. The twin cocktail of sex and violence at the same time, heated up by alcohol and Dionysian emotion, is among the most effective throughout history for annihilating the pain of being an individual. There’s a name for this practice beyond just “atheism” and in my research I think Camille Paglia defines it best in her many books of essays, criticism, and literary analysis, summarized in the lead essay in Vamps and Tramps: A Pagan Theory of Sexuality. From page 45:

“Men who kill the women they love have reverted to Pagan cult. She whom a man cannot live without had become a goddess, an avatar of his half-divinized, half-demonized mother, a magic fountain of cosmic creativity.”

"Men who kill the women they love have reverted to #Pagan cult. She whom a man cannot live without had become a goddess, an avatar of his half-divinized, half-demonized mother, a #magic fountain of #cosmic creativity." - Camille Paglia, page 45 of Vamps and Tramps, "No Law in the Arena" essay.

So the position I take: Chris was just being a normal, secular teenage boy, the way mother nature created him. This is just how nature operates…

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
I did at the end of the piece: "If there was some other way to escape the pain of idolatry than worshipping the God of the Bible then I haven’t found it yet."
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
In almost all species, the female dictates the behavior for the men to respond to for mating. In fact, the Saints say the same thing:

Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 1 Peter 3:1-2.

After feminism wrecked this dynamic, all the calls for "where the good men are" won't mean a thing until women change their behavior, not the other way around.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
The early church grew because women were drawn the Christian men who did not grope and abuse them. Satan loves it when we treat each other as meat or barnyard animals.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (19)
All Comments   (19)
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God is love. Humankind is in slavery to sin. Hence, without God in their lives, "love" (genuine, true) is not "natural" to man.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have the same problem of embarrassment, having been an atheist for many years. But I then I remember the Screwtape Letters and I think, of course, that's how the devil works. He appeals to our pride, our vanity, our fear of being uncool, of being mocked, excluded and marginalized.

I feel super uncool talking about the devil. But nothing I read about Jesus makes me think he was cool, so I think at least I am in good company.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have the same problem of embarrassment, having been an atheist for many years. But I then I remember the Screwtape Letters and I think, of course, that's how the devil works. He appeals to our pride, our vanity, our fear of being uncool, of being mocked, excluded and marginalized.

I feel super uncool talking about the devil. But nothing I read about Jesus makes me think he was cool, so I think at least I am in good company.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Another bigoted sermon. No worse than a bigoted feminist or a bigoted ideologue. Perhaps you should announce which god these men are godless of, Thor perhaps?
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
I did at the end of the piece: "If there was some other way to escape the pain of idolatry than worshipping the God of the Bible then I haven’t found it yet."
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
How about "being a reasonable human being and treating others the same"? If you need Sky Massa to do that, well, I feel sorry for you, but at least it keeps you from letting your inner dirtbag out.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
But what is reasonable and who decides?
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
""being a reasonable human being and treating others the same"?" = the Jewish "'What is hateful to you, do not do unto others." and the Christian variation in the Golden Rule.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Deductive reasoning’s natural home is in the spiritual life which is present in the place of worship and in the home. Inductive reasoning works poorly here. The natural home of Inductive reasoning is in the World of Work. There is an overlap of Deductive and Inductive in daily life.

There are two kinds of atheist. One is a person who “lacks the brain wiring” for the belief. It is like being color blind, tone deaf, or lacking rhythm. The other and most numerous kind of atheist denies the existence of God and the philosophical structure carrying this message is a Deductive reasoning erection. Its logical structure and mechanics are the same as a religion. This denial of God is a religious belief.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Let me tell you a secret, Wishkah. Most atheists specifically reject the religion they were raised with/around and don't worry much about other cultures' versions of God. What an Anglosphere "atheist" means when they call themselves that and say that they "Don't believe in god" is that they do not believe in the Christian god/Christ/the Bible or the endless variety of churches and mutations of those doctrines that are built upon some version of those things.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
In almost all species, the female dictates the behavior for the men to respond to for mating. In fact, the Saints say the same thing:

Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 1 Peter 3:1-2.

After feminism wrecked this dynamic, all the calls for "where the good men are" won't mean a thing until women change their behavior, not the other way around.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
No offense, but I think you are lost in a hall of mirrors, Dave. I think you have done a lot of weird reading, and it's getting to you.

Camille Paglia is an interesting and lively writer, but boil down her writing and she doesn't have a whole lot more to say than your average barfly. What makes it seemingly scholarly is an edifice of analogies, taking ordinary events and placing them in historical and religious categories, which may or may not apply ... but most important, they are ultimately metaphor.

At some point, you need to throw away the books and the metaphors, and look at things in themselves. It's a effing red wheelbarrow and it's effing glazed with rain water and there are white chickens beside it, and so much depends on going straight at that image, setting everything else aside, your categories, your analogies, your metaphor, and your purported historical context.

Now I could explain how it's all gone wrong, and what the answer is, but that's the subject of my book.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
"but most important, they are ultimately metaphor."
All thought is metaphor.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Nonsense.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
"red wheelbarrow" -- this collection of squiggles on the screen which inspires you to imagine an object commonly used to move items in a garden is a metaphor. Every combination of words or set of symbols is a metaphor for something else outside your head.

"The map is not the territory." - Korzybski http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Map%E2%80%93territory_relation
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
I guess Islam didn't get the memo.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
The early church grew because women were drawn the Christian men who did not grope and abuse them. Satan loves it when we treat each other as meat or barnyard animals.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
well....you are swimming in some deep waters, there. fascinating.

anyway, rather than smashing this and overcoming that, I told my Sunday School class kids that God wants a tithe of everything- money, rage, pain, fear, doubt, joy, obsessions about sports, worries about homework-- every little bit of everything, doubts. a tithe of all of it. Offer it up - even distractions and boredoms and "why are we here?" bits- and because he loves us- it works out okay, somehow.

what's odd, is that the parents wanted to hear that, too.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
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